Access your origin story, to dwell, explore, speculate, and empathize with previous generations, tracing the lineage of their influence.
There are no available registration dates at this time.
Everyone has an origin story. This story goes back before you were born, before your mother and father were born, before your grandmothers and grandfathers were born. Very often this story begins at a pivotal point in history, in places disrupted by war or political upheaval or famine, in places you have never lived, perhaps never even visited, but still lives in you.
The workshop will focus on accessing your origin story, the experiences of relatives who had immigrated. Who were these people? How did they live? What made them leave their homes, their native countries, and come to America? How have those reasons and choices shaped you? How do their experiences continue to inform who you are?
The workshop will provide space and time for students to gather research materials, as well as strategies and guidance for using those materials to dwell, explore, speculate, and empathize with previous generations, tracing the lineage of your influence. There will be readings and discussions of relevant craft essays and exemplars, which will lead to prompts and free-writing exercises. You will be expected to share work and provide feedback during each class.
Instructor: Elizabeth Miki Brina
Elizabeth Miki Brina is the author of Speak, Okinawa: A Memoir, published by Knopf in February of 2021, and one of NPR's best books of the year. Her work has also appeared in The Sun, River Teeth, Lit Hub, Gulf Coast, and Hyphen Magazine, among others. She lives in New Orleans and teaches writing at the University of New Orleans.